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What is the Best Form of Exercise For Weight Loss?

burst training weight lossWe believe the best form of exercise for weight loss is HIIT or what we call Burst Training.

One of the great misconceptions about weight loss is that you need to spend more time doing cardio. According to fitness science if you can make the switch from steady state cardio to higher intensity interval cardio, you can burn fat more efficiently with less time in the gym.

Wouldn’t it be nice to spend less time and get better results?

Truth is, most people fail to achieve fitness results due to lack of time and energy. But really, it’s a lack of having the proper strategy or plan to consistently overcome those obstacles. This is where short burst workouts come in.

Bust training workouts can be done in as little as 8-15 minutes per workout. The main goal is to maximize metabolic activity post workout.

Did you get that? We said post workout. Most people are only considering how many calories they burn during the workout. If you make the switch from steady state to burst training, you dramatically improve how your body burns calories for up to several after post workout. You just don’t see this kind of metabolic shift with steady state cardio.

What Fitness Research is Telling Us

A 1996 study from Baylor College of Medicine (Houston) reported that subjects who performed a HIIT workout on a stationary cycle burned significantly more calories during the 24 hours following the workout than those who cycled at a moderate, steady-state intensity due to a rise in resting metabolism. 

A study presented by Florida State University (Tallahassee) researchers at the 2007 Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) reported that subjects who performed HIIT cardio burned almost 10% more calories during the 24 hours following exercise than a steady-state group, despite the fact that the total calories burned during each workout were the same.

The most recent study, out of Australia, reported that a group of females who followed a 20-minute HIIT program consisting of eight-second sprints followed by 12 seconds of rest lost an amazing six times more body fat than a group that followed a 40-minute cardio program performed at a constant intensity of 60% MHR.

Age Old Argument of Quantity Versus Quality

We clearly prefer quality, in this case, as it gives us a distinct metabolic advantage and therefore bigger, better results.

An example of a Burst Training workout with cardio equipment:

  • a quick warm up
  • 8-16 rounds of sprinting (or running faster than you normally would)
  • 20 seconds or sprinting, followed by 20 seconds of rest
  • repeat

This type of format could be performed on most, if not all, cardio equipment.

One of our favorite versions is performed outside at a local soccer field. We sprint for a certain distance or time. Rest for only a brief period. Repeat until pooped. It’s a quick and convenient, but powerful workout.

An example of a Burst Training workout with body weight:

  • a quick warmup
  • Round 1 = air squats followed by jumping jacks
  • Round 2 = pushups followed by pull-ups (resistance band alternative is an option)
  • Round 3 = bicep curl followed by tricep extension (resistance bands)
  • Each round is performed 2-3 times prior to moving to next round
  • Perform first exercise for 20 seconds, rest for 20 seconds

No More Excuses

Any person can find 12-15 minutes to do Burst Training, if they are truly serious about their goals and getting fit. Even at our busiest times in life, we could find the will to get up 20 minutes earlier, perform it on our lunch hour, or force ourselves to “just get it done” first thing when we get home from work. You can too!

Some people only have time for doing Burst Training 3 days per week, and still get great results. Some people, like us, will do it 3 days per week (on our long days), and then take more time for other forms of exercise on our shorter days or weekends.

The Point is This…

Burst Training is a great fitness strategy for people that are short on time.

Burst training is a more superior strategy to fitness and weight loss than steady state cardio.